Patriots’ Day

Boston and Kara Goucher

Among the many unique things about Boston Marathon (such as required qualifying times, later start time than most marathons, three start waves) is the fact that it’s held on a Monday. Of course, it’s not just any Monday, it’s Patriots’ Day, an official holiday in Massachusetts (obviously) and Maine (which used to be part of Massachusetts), and a public school observance day in Wisconsin (no idea why). Patriots’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the Revolutionary War. By the way, in case you were wondering, the Revolution is not covered in History classes in English schools. At least not in mine. We covered all the Kings and Queens, skipped right over the Revolution and moved on to the World Wars…

But I digress. Because Boston Marathon is held on Patriots’ Day, many Bostonians call the holiday “Marathon Monday.” In addition to the marathon, as is tradition, the Boston Red Sox will play (the Rays) at Fenway Park at 11am; marathoners will run through Kenmore while they are playing. I probably shouldn’t mention the Red Sox given that my husband is a Yankees fan. Baseball is another thing you don’t learn about in England. When my husband took me to my first baseball game (Orioles vs. Royals, I think), I couldn’t understand why the fans of opposing teams were sitting near each other. I am used to English football, where a fence or wall and even designated entrances physically separate the fans of opposing teams, lest they try to kill one another. Baseball, I learned, is much more civilized.

And April 15th also happens to be Jackie Robinson Day. Robinson, of course, is one of baseball’s heroes for breaking the color barrier when he entered the major leagues in 1947. Given that I’m running a marathon on Jackie Robinson Day I’m likely to be thinking about another hero, Kathrine Switzer, who broke the gender barrier when she ran the Boston marathon 20 years after Robinson’s major league debut. (Coincidentally, Switzer was born in 1947.) It was another five years before women were officially allowed to enter the Boston marathon, which just happens to be the year I was born – 1972. Kathrine Switzer will be signing copies of her book “Marathon Woman” at the  Marathon Tours Booth (#2335) at the Boston Marathon Expo on Friday April 12th from 2pm-6pm, Saturday April 13th from 1pm-6pm, and Sunday, April 14th from 1:15pm-3pm. I think I will have to stop by!

Speaking of marathon women, I happened to spot Kara Goucher’s Running for Women: From First Steps to Marathons, on my bookshelf this morning. I was looking for some nutrition tips for the last few days leading up to my race, and thought I’d see what she had to say. There’s a section of her book called “Your Can’t-Fail Prerace Eating Plan” that I found really useful and highly recommend for those wondering what to eat the day before the race as well as on race day. In the chapter “Running a Marathon” I found this quote, that I felt put things in perspective for me as I think about my race strategy:


Whether you call it Patriots’ Day, Marathon Monday, Jackie Robinson Day, or just another Monday, April 15th will be historic.


  1. Fantastic! Run well and enjoy the entire experience! I’ll be cheering you on from afar!

  2. What an interesting post! I love all of the history. And I keep meaning to pick up Kara Goucher’s book. I think that’ll be on my to-do list this weekend! Best of luck to you!

  3. Have fun, if that’s possible while running (see my bias?). We saw Kara Goucher at the Nike Marathon in San Francisco, and she is tiny. And very personable. I was smiling because 1972 sounds so recent. I remember when Switzer ran the marathon. It was in the LA Times, which was our paper. Big news in its day!!! I hope you can sleep in on Tuesday.
    AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Pack Light and Right for Active Adventure TravelMy Profile

    • Racingtales says:

      Runwiki and I met her at Bolder Boulder last May – yes, tiny, but lovely! I definitely plan to sleep in Tuesday!

  4. Best of luck! As you have recovered from your injury during this time you’ve been registered for Boston, you are a total inspiration for me as I wallow in self pity. You give me hope!!!

    • Racingtales says:

      Oh no, Gretchen! So sorry to hear you are injured. Hope you have a speedy recovery so we can finally run together!

  5. You’ll have a great run as you have put in the preparation time in training and eating. I’m also glad you stuck with the positives of 15 April and left out the 1 negative, in the US anyway.
    Stuart recently posted..Pictures…From the InsideMy Profile

  6. Wonderful post! I hope you have a great race and are able to enjoy it. Run your best race and may injury and illness stay far away.

  7. ha this was such a cute post and I learned so much…like baseball is civilized 🙂 I think they teach all the wrong things in school, but I’m not a teacher so ehh.

    have so much fun!
    Amanda @runtothefinish recently posted..How long is a 60 minute massage?My Profile

  8. Cannot wait to hear all about it. And need to check this out – “Your Can’t-Fail Prerace Eating Plan”. I’ve pretty much ate junk before all my runs. Wine and cheese last night before my half today. Whoops
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted..A Running Game Changer?My Profile

  9. I love that last quote!! And thanks for explaining about the holiday tomorrow, my husband was asking why it was Monday and I couldn’t remember. Best of luck!!!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Weekly workout recap + Menu Planning Link upMy Profile

  10. Very interesting history behind Patriot’s Day. Good luck to you!
    Run With Jess recently posted..Race Recap: Bels Race For Your Heart 10KMy Profile


  1. […] Racing Tales: Patriots’ Day […]

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge